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Issue Date: January 2011

Most Interesting People 2011: Norris Cole

Carly Toyzan

Norris Cole

Point guard, Cleveland State Vikings | 22

Norris Cole approaches the 3-point line at the same spot he stood last January against Milwaukee. Cleveland State was down by one with 6.9 seconds to go in the game in which he'd scored his 1,000th point as a Viking.

"I stepped into it and nailed it like pow," says the 6-foot-2 senior before shooting. "Just like that."

Cole has been undeniably impressive for CSU. As a sophomore, he contributed 22 points to the team's shocking NCAA Tournament disposal of fourth-seeded Wake Forest. Last year, he rose as coach Gary Waters' leader and was named first team All-Horizon League.

But today, his HORSE opponent stands at a mere 5 feet 7 inches.

He's half-horrified, half-amused as I take the ball to recreate his game-winning three. "Uh oh, I might laugh," he says before correcting me. "Spread your fingers out." But it's no use: The ball sails pathetically. Almost in sync, we both say, "H."

Any hope that the clutch shooter will let me win or take it easy is lost. O, R and S follow.

Cole's ultracompetitive nature is just one trait that's made him a star guard. As a standout high school quarterback, he honed communication and decision-making skills. He values the intelligence stressed by his parents, who once took away the ball when his grades slipped. Seven years later he finished high school as salutatorian. And with two state championships at Dayton's Dunbar High and the Vikings' 2009 Horizon League title, he knows how to win.

Taking 500 shots a day, about 30 from 16 spots around the court, doesn't hurt either.

Cole sets up a shot just as it happened against Florida A&M early last season. He put up a career-high 38 that night and went 13 for 13 at the free-throw line, where he shoots 80 percent. It's another easy three for him and a game-ending E for me.

"That's alright," he kindly assures me. "You don't play basketball."

Yeah, I'll leave that to him.

Top 5 Favorite Basketball Players

  1. Michael Jordan
  2. Pete Maravich
  3. LeBron James
  4. Kobe Bryant
  5. Magic Johnson


    Friday, January 07, 2011 5:34:48 PM by Anonymous
    Very nice story. (fix the spelling of "guard", though, in your headline.)
    Saturday, January 08, 2011 9:16:31 AM by Sue
    Saw him play last weekend...excellent! The whole team was exceptional!
    Saturday, January 08, 2011 9:19:22 AM by Sue
    Saw the game last weekend...excellent! The whole team was exceptional!
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011 11:20:11 AM by Anonymous
    Congrat's you desire the notority. Keep up the good work. We wish you the success in meeting your goals. thanks for helping the BBTeam successful. Great entertainment.
    Saturday, January 22, 2011 9:25:49 PM by Dr. Richard Melson
    This is a very good story. Norris has worked hard to reach this level. Here isa real role model for youth.
    Saturday, June 25, 2011 12:04:35 AM by Anonymous
    hes with the MIAMI HEAT NOW

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